CHICAGO The All Aboard USA Committee of Rainbow Railroad announces a public event on Thursday, August 16th, at 6:30 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, Chicago 60613 entitled, "If Not US, Who?: The Struggle of LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum-Seekers."
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ) will open the event and invite a panel of experts, along with an asylum-seeker, to share their compelling perspectives on the challenges facing LGBTQ throughout the world and what the Chicago community can do to help. Lam Ho, Founder & Executive Director of the Community Activism Law Alliance, will moderate the event. Panelists include:
- Mike Jarecki, Director, Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Jackie Kaplan Perkins, Director, Chicago & Midwest Human Rights Watch
- Joanna Thompson, Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator for the Center on Halsted
- Eduardo Hernandez, U.S. Development Officer, Rainbow Railroad
- Gabrielle, recently granted asylum
The moderator will be Lam Ho, Founder & Executive Director of the Community Activism Law Alliance Panelists:
Event registration is available online. Register at www.eventbrite.ca/e/if-not-us-who-tickets-47916204658 . Tickets are $10. Like and follow for updated news on the group's Facebook event page.
In 2017, Bruce Koff and Lori Cannon, well-known community activists and leaders were inspired by the actions of Artem Kolesov, a young, gay, virtuoso violinist who came out to his home country of Russia, forsaking his ability to return home safely. With the support of the Chicago LGBTQ community and allies, Artem obtained permanent resident status in the U.S. Other LGBTQI+ individuals worldwide continue to face unspeakable horror including detention, imprisonment, beatings, torture, and even death. This year's event "If Not US, Who? The Struggle of LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum-Seekers" will turn our attention to them and the ways compassionate Chicagoans can help.
Event sponsors include Rainbow Railroad, Center on Halsted, Windy City Times, and the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.